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, they are to be destroyed. so admiral sommerville fromy gal tar sails out with his flotilla, one was the uss hood, and during the night when they're sailing churchill sends sommerville this message. churchill to sommerville: you are charged with one of the most disagreeable and difficult tasks that a british admiral has ever been faced with, but we have complete confidence in you and rely on you to carry it out relentlessly. so this is really hardball. what happened was the fleet showed up outside the harbor at dawn. a friend of admiral gensel, the french admiral, came to present him the terms. gensel was furious. he was also under orders not to obey any foreign power, meaning british -- >> host: under orders from who? >> guest: from his own government. the government had now changed. he was under orders from the government which was -- >> host: german-controlled. >> guest: yeah. friendly to the germans. but there was, it was more than orders. because if gensel had said, okay, i like the british in this war, we want to fight the nazis and given the ships over to the british fleet, that would have
and decoded. so churchill knew what was going on. sommerville kept telling him i deadlines, i have deadlines community tell me what you going to do. he kept stalling. at 6:00 the british opened fire. and they sink a number of french ships, killed about 1300 french sailors, so it was a great tragedy. churchill understood it was a great tragedy. and it's not discussed very much when the battle of britain is discussed because the brattle of britain, people think of the messersmith and the spitfires and british don't like to talk about that. but it had a very important impact. the americans were solicited time and again to send arms to the british. church was very emphatic about this pic you want to destroy. he won all kinds of guns to make up for the guns that the british army had left and friends. and the americans were stopped ago. first, there were neutrality laws but those also very strong isolationist sentiment in america. and even george marshall who is chief military advisor to franklin roosevelt said, how could we send all these weapons to england if they're going to surrender to the br
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